There is no more important time to be in PR. If you haven’t noticed, we live in a distracted, fragmented and polarized society and world. Now more than ever, we need to help others communicate better.
One of the hardest working and most financially fortunate people to have ever lived was from Cleveland, and no, it wasn’t LeBron. It was John Rockefeller, who created the entire modern oil industry.
He once said, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know that you’re doing the right thing.” So it’s only fitting that Rockefeller’s son hired Ivy Lee, the man who founded modern public relations, to be his PR advisor.
Since then, the public relations landscape has changed rapidly. From the introduction of mass communication mediums like radio and television to the conception of the Internet and the adoption of smartphones – the world is more connected than ever.
So why is public relations so important in our hyper-connected, distracted and fragmented world?
Here are three reasons why PR is entering its golden age:
1. The Erosion of Trust
Over the past several decades, once-trusted institutions, businesses and even religions have experienced a steady decline in public trust. In this eroding trust environment, it’s more important than ever to help organizations communicate effectively and understand what actions will build public confidence. PR can bridge businesses to their consumers and build relationships that weather stormy waters while cultivating the ultimate business currency – trust.
2. New Technology
Gone are the days of one-way marketing campaigns when advertising bigwigs dictated consumer interests and market trends. With the development of social media, consumers have an equal voice and are determined to hold businesses accountable. A single tweet can be the difference between a well-intentioned joke and a full-blown crisis. Add in modern marketing analytics and content managing platforms, and public relations offers a unique solution to these complex issues while letting businesses better understand, target and communicate with key audiences.
3. PR is Everything
As our FH team has pointed out before, PR is in its golden age because PR is everything. Whether it’s a media placement, website, advertisement or customer service call, it all boils down to communicating effectively with key audiences – something businesses need more than ever.
Ultimately, PR is in its golden age because it’s doing what it’s always done: communicating better.
Public relations should never be about putting the best face on a wrong thing. PR is about being the public conscience of an organization, listening to the views of others, building relationships, doing the right things with others in mind and communicating those right things – just like Rockefeller.
I’m grateful to have spent my career in this field (and I’m not finished yet). If you’re a PR professional, as you counsel and represent organizations of all kinds, I encourage you to stand up for the right things and apply your talents to help organizations communicate better. That is what true PR has been, and should always be, about.